In 1931, Chicago is in the midst of the Great Depression. Following his sufferance of a grave injury, Harper finds a house. Within the house is a room, where he first encounters the Shining Girls. All of these girls are spread across different time periods, but, with the House, Harper can go to them. He goes to their time periods and kills them to snuff out their light before he disappears back into time. It’s all going wonderfully until one survives, and she goes after Harper to put a stop to him.
After taking some time to adjust to Beukes’ prose, which I found a bit clunky, I became quite engrossed in Lauren Beukes’ The Shining Girls. The concept of the House is scary awesome–even though it’s not hard to make serial killers scary and hard to catch (Zodiac killer and Jack the Ripper to name a few examples), but this way is pretty unique and will likely to especially draw in people who like to read across genres. The plot accelerates quickly with active characters to move it quickly along. Kirby, Harper’s nemesis, is an extremely vital character, and I loved her for both her personality and the fact that Beukes did not cast her a victim. Reckless? Yes. Fiery-tempered? Yes. Helpless victim? Not so much. It was awesome.
I felt like things unraveled at the end–I’m not sure if it was because of what was going on in the plot or certain concepts hadn’t been well enough established early on, but the ending sort of fell flat at the end. Nevertheless, this is a fun, quick mystery with a unique sci-fi twist that should interest plenty of readers.